Originally posted on FOX Sports  |  Last updated 10/26/11
Earlier this week, the esteemed editor in chief of The Boxing Tribune and I got into a bit of a discussion about whether Kermit Cintron (33-4-1, 28 KOs), who is scheduled to fight Saul Alvarez (38-0-1, 28 KOs) on Nov. 26 for El Canelo's WBC belt at 154 pounds, is the toughest test that Alvarez has yet faced. I argued that Cintron is just Matthew Hatton or Ryan Rhodes all over again -- between the record (all three guys mentioned brought four career losses into their fights with Alvarez) and the general quality of the fighter, it's hard to make the argument that Cintron is elite. Yes, Cintron can hang his hat on the majority draw he gave Sergio Martinez, a top-10 pound-for-pound guy and consensus middleweight champion of the world. He beat Alfredo Angulo pretty soundly back in 2009. But since the Angulo fight, Cintron simply hasn't done anything in the ring. Two losses (to Paul Williams and Carlos Molina), a very lackluster win over Antwone Smith (which your friendly neighborhood commentator scored a draw), and another win over gatekeeper Juliano Ramos form Cintron's post-Angulo resume. All of the above might not even be the point, however. With the exception of Alvarez, who at age 21 is still a work in progress but might very well end up as a truly legendary champion once he cleans out the division and lords over the 154-160 weight range like a Klitschko brother, the junior middleweight division is, as I've said before, a soup kitchen. Fringe contenders get title shots and every title except El Canelo's WBC belt is held by guys who are either washed up (WBA "super" champ Miguel Cotto), untested (WBA regular champ Austin Trout), or best-of-a-weak-lot on-paper titleholders (Cornelius Bundrage in the IBF and WBO titlist Zaurbek Baysangurov). But so what if it's a soup kitchen, argued the boss man. "I think the parity at 154 is what makes it interesting. ... I couldn't care less about stars, as long as decent bouts are made," he said, and looking at the rankings and the fights that could be made therefrom, he's absolutely right. If you look at The Boxing Tribune's own rankings, at No. 1 sits Angulo and at No. 20 sits Sechew Powell, with a whole bunch of similarly talented guys the casual fans may not have heard of but the hardcore fans know bring the goods every time. The best part? Since so few of these guys are household names, it's a tournament waiting to happen. Showtime has already put on a Super Six at 168 pounds, a grand promoters' bargain with the prize being becoming the man who everyone's going to complain about Lucian Bute not fighting. It worked because Super Six offered a chance for good but not necessarily household-name fighters (except in Europe) to make a huge step forward in their careers, something Andre Ward or Carl Froch will do with a win in the grand finale (Dec. 17). But why stop at Super Six? Here's my proposal. We take the Boxing Tribune top 20. Take out Cotto (who's living on past reputation), Yuri Foreman (ditto), Erislandy Lara (really doesn't belong on the list), and Pawel Wolak (whom we've bigger plans for, namely fighting Delvin Rodriguez to the death if necessary). The other 16 guys? Say hello to the Battle Royale With Cheese. Here's how it works. First, we divide the fighters into four groups of four fighters each and have them fight where it makes geographic sense (mostly): Group A (Staples Center, Los Angeles) Alfredo Angulo vs. Vanes Martirosyan Austin Trout vs. Deandre Latimore Group B (Madison Square Garden, New York) Sechew Powell vs. Paul Williams Cornelius Bundrage vs. Kermit Cintron Group C (ESPRIT Arena, Dusseldorf, Germany) Lukas Konecny vs. Sergiy Dzinziruk Zaurbek Baysangurov vs. Ryan Rhodes Group D (Arena VFG, Guadalajara, Mexico) Saul Alvarez vs. Carlos Molina Nobuhiro Ishida vs. Anthony Mundine (hey, someone had to travel) After the preliminary fights, the group final would be held in the same location (except Group D, which would shift to Vodafone Arena in Melbourne in fairness to the Asia-Pacific contingent) to determine a group champion. Single elimination, with a cash bonus paid to the winner by knockout if the fights do not go the distance, in order to encourage fighters to go for the big shot. Money would be raised by selling the naming rights (fans may groan at the blatant product placement, but it's far better than survival-mode fights like Nonito Donaire-Omar Narvaez from last week); creating an incentive by any means necessary will make the fights more entertaining. After the first set of fights concludes, the semifinals will be held for the US championship in Jerry Jones' Palace of Decadence, namely Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, while the international title will be contested at the MEN Arena in Manchester, England. Finally, with all the hype machines cranked up to 11, with a new legend in the junior middleweight division just waiting to be crowned, with HBO's "24/7" series and everyone talking about the fighters, live from Las Vegas, a star will be born and everyone will marvel at how great the tournament was and ... *BZZZZZZT* Damned alarm clock. I must've been dreaming again. But man, what a dream.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Arizona defends handling of DeAndre Ayton’s eligibility

DeAndre Ayton wants FBI, NCAA to clear his name

Gregg Popovich compares 'superhero' LeBron James to Black Panther

Report: Bills tried to trade for Martavis Bryant last season

Stoneman Douglas hockey team pulls upset, wins state title

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jimmy Butler has successful surgery for torn meniscus

WATCH: Tiger Woods hits goose with tee shot at Honda Classic

Ex-Arizona State CB arrested for making threats toward students, staff

Tyronn Lue: LeBron James won't take games off for rest

Report: Twins agree to deal with Logan Morrison

Mirai Nagasu apologizes for controversial remarks

Sports & Politics Intersect: Cuban forced to face culture of misogyny in Mavs front office

The 'Let’s play QB roulette' quiz

NHL Weekender: Playoff races heat up as trade deadline looms

14 NBA X-factors who will tip the scales in the postseason

MLB breakout candidates for the 2018 season

No one wants to jump with Dennis Smith Jr.

NFL players who could be traded before draft

Negro Leaguers every baseball fan should know

Top MLB Cy Young candidates heading into 2018

The greatest barrier-breaking African-American moments in MLB history

Faltering Blackhawks face tough decisions at deadline

MLB's top 10 first basemen for 2018

Boxing News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Sports & Politics Intersect: Cuban forced to face culture of misogyny in Mavs front office

MLB breakout candidates for the 2018 season

The 'Let’s play QB roulette' quiz

NHL Weekender: Playoff races heat up as trade deadline looms

No one wants to jump with Dennis Smith Jr.

The 'Kawhi so serious?' quiz

Top MLB Cy Young candidates heading into 2018

25 best MLB players under 25

The 'Red Sox finally get their guy' quiz

MLB's top 10 first basemen for 2018

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker